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Noor Financial seeks regulatory approval to sell part of Meezan Bank stake

Kuwait-based Noor Financial Investment Co. sought the approval of the State Bank of Pakistan to sell part of its stake in Meezan Bank Ltd., Pakistan's Daily Times reported, citing a bourse filing.

Noor Financial said it was in preliminary nonbinding talks with an unnamed overseas company for a 9.59% stake, or 101,900,000 ordinary shares, in Meezan Bank.

The Kuwaiti company owns 49.11% of Meezan Bank, according to the lender's 2017 annual report. The company's shareholding is worth about US$330 million based on the bank's market capitalization, Reuters reported the same day.

Noor Financial had been looking to divest its stake in Meezan Bank for US$190 million since 2014. However, the Pakistani central bank rejected the transaction due to the potential buyer using an offshore company to conduct the transaction.

In 2017, Noor Financial appointed Credit Suisse Group AG to explore options for its stake in Meezan Bank, including finding potential buyers.